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Programs start to fill airwaves

CJMP delves into live programming
Kyle Wells

Powell River Community Radio is live on the air and organizers have successfully fulfilled all goals set for this stage in the station’s progress.

Last October a new board came together to save the station after previous board members announced they would be stepping down and that the station’s community radio licence would be lost if nobody stepped in to save it. Fearing the loss of the station members of the community came forward to form a new board and begin their quest to save the airwaves.

Four months later and Powell River Community Radio is going strong. Every goal that the station set has been achieved. Organizers knew they needed to raise $1,500 by the end of 2010 to fit the station with the bare basics and get it up and running. They raised $4,500. They needed more members to get the station going. By the end of the year they had over 100. They wanted to broadcast live on December 15 for the first time. Check.

“We’ve continued to have phenomenal public support and just really great support from the membership,” said station president Aron Strumecki. “It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before and I’ve been involved in a lot of non-profit organizations.”

CJMP is now back live on the air every Friday night and during morning and evening time slots on Saturday. With show titles like Pow!Town Get Down and Unending Subtleties of River Power a local element is starting to work its way onto the station. Strumecki said about 13 other programmers are in the process of getting trained and putting the finer details on their shows but should be on the air soon.

The station will be adding more original, live and local programming as it grows and they are always looking for new proposals and fresh ideas. Anyone interested in hosting a show can pitch an idea to the station’s programming team by way of a proposal form that can be found on the CJMP website. Training involves sitting in with a DJ while they host a show and obtaining a feel for how the magic is made.

“It’s amazing the amount of hard effort and work people have been putting into this,” said Strumecki. “It’s just an amazing amount of progress.”

New goals have been set for the station. Fundraising is always the main concern and station organizers continue to seek support to help pay for rent, costs and better equipment. Strumecki laughed when he said that they are all pretty excited to now be able to afford Internet and telephone service at the station. Next on the list is fixing a technical problem with a connection to the antennae that should improve broadcasts.

The station is also hosting a youth skills project in conjunction with Career Link. The program teaches high school graduates the ins and outs of running a radio station and hosting their own show. The program is intended to help out-of-work youth gain skills and experience that will assist them in finding employment.

The next general public meeting for the station is Friday, March 11 and various committee meetings are ongoing. Interested readers can visit the station's website for details.

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